Handy Gifts for DIY Types
What do you get for the person who prefers to make everything himself? Shopping for that guy can seem pretty daunting. Our best tip: It’s best to encourage his do-it-yourself tendencies rather than fight them. In that spirit, following are a several great ideas for the handy guy in your life.
-- Produced by Alex Davies
Dremel Rotary Tool
For making quick work of small sanding, carving, cutting, sharpening, or polishing jobs, there’s nothing quite like a high-speed rotary tool, such as the classic Dremel 3000. With a huge assortment of bits and attachments, the Dremel can do everything from cutting off the head of a stuck bolt to engraving to sanding down to a silky-smooth finish on a woodworking project.
(Dremel 3000, $70)
Drill Bit Sharpener
When working on DIY projects which call for loads of drilling, the only thing worse than a dull drill bit is a dead drill battery. And while charging up your buddy's drill would be a nice gesture, giving him a way to keep his drill bits sharp might be the more useful of the two.
The Drill Doctor sharpens spade, twist, and masonry drill bits, which will save your giftee time, frustration, and money.
(Drill Doctor Model DDSB, $129.99)
Bring on the Annihilator
Sometimes, in order to build something new, you have to tear apart something old. In other words, some construction is preceded by deconstruction. But just because you're destroying rather than creating doesn't mean you shouldn't have the right tools.
The Annihilator is a multipurpose de-constructor referred to as the “ultimate wrecking bar.” It will quickly earn its place as a go-to tool for DIYers who want to quickly undo what some other person took great pains to build. Plus, it could double as a personal security device.
(Dead On Annihilator Ultimate Wrecking Bar, $57)
The iconic Leatherman has spawned a number of lookalikes and wannabes, some of which are actually quite good competition to the original. But they all strive to put the most frequently used hand tools into a gadget that fits on your belt and can be in your hand in a matter of seconds. It sure beats digging around in the bottom of the toolbox any day.
Leatherman makes a lot of multi-tools, but the most impressive is the heavy-duty SuperTool 300. Its 19 tools include pliers, wire cutters, a serrated knife, four screwdrivers, and much more.
(Leatherman SuperTool 300, $50)
Getting a good view of the task at hand can be half the work of any home project, and a great way to do that is by wearing a bright LED light on your head. Give the gift of hands-free light with a long-lasting and hard-wearing headlamp from Princeton Tec, which also comes with a lifetime guarantee.
Unless your DIYer is also big on caving, he or she probably isn't going to need the top of the line Apex. But the smaller Eos Tactical is no slacker, delivering 45 lumens with a 121-hour burn time, and can illuminate up to180 feet.
(Princeton Tec Eos Tactical Headlamp, $53)
Stylish Safety Glasses
Nobody likes to wear safety glasses, perhaps because they tend to make you look like you just walked out of remedial shop class. But for people who use power tools a lot, that little act of wearing eye protection could be the thing that saves their eyeballs should things ever go wrong.
The trick is finding a pair that's stylish enough to convince your friend to actually use them. For that, check out Elvex, whose motto, "Safety with Style," is spot on. You can choose from a variety of colors and lens types to find the perfect fit.
(Elvex XTS Safety Glasses, $8)
Nothing really enables spontaneous construction like a cordless drill and driver, and with the powerful and long lasting lithium ion batteries on the latest models, the gift of one of these bad boys is sure to win the heart of your favorite DIYer. Cordless means freedom to build without having an outlet nearby, a keyless chuck makes for fast bit changes, and the clutch feature makes it easy to drive screws perfectly every time.
The 20-volt MAX drill and driver from Black & Decker has a lithium battery that can hold a charge for 18 months, an LED work light so you always know what you're drilling, and an 11 position clutch for extra control.
(Black & Decker 20V MAX Lithium Drill/Driver, $115)
New Complete Do It Yourself Manual
There are a lot of sources for do it yourself projects out there, especially when you start looking around online. But doing a quick Google search and finding a questionable result have nothing on the feeling of opening the go-to book for home repairs and projects and getting exactly what you need from trustworthy source.
The Reader's Digest Complete Do-It-Yourself Manual is the bible of its genre. It may have been published back in 1973 (and updated in 1991), but it's still got everything you need. More than 500 pages and 4,000 illustrations mean the reader will never have to hire another contractor. At the very least, he'll know what he's talking about, and can protect himself from getting swindled.
(Reader's Digest Complete Do-It-Yourself Manual, $23; 1001 Do-It-Yourself Hints and Tips, $14)
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